Democracy as Human Value: On the Idea of Ethical Citizenship
Professor Lenart Škof
Throughout the world we are facing the demise of democratic hope. The great American intellectual Richard Rorty has referred to this hope by quoting from Walt Whitman's Democratic Vistas, taking democracy in his own way as an eschatological event. We also know that for John Dewey, in a similarly idiosyncratic manner, the idea of democracy was linked to great ideals of a religious life. In this lecture I reflect on the ethical and spiritual foundations of the idea of democracy, defending democracy as a moral ideal and human value that is in urgent need of nurturing in these turbulent times.
Lenart Škof is Professor of Philosophy and Head of the Institute for Philosophical Studies at the Science and Research Centre of Koper, Slovenia. His main research interests lie in ethics, new cosmology, intercultural and Indian philosophy (he has translated Yajurvedic Upanishads from the Sanskrit), the philosophy of American pragmatism, and the philosophy of Luce Irigaray. He is an author of several books, including Pragmatist Variations on Ethical and Intercultural Life (2012) and Breath of Proximity: Intersubjectivity, Ethics and Peace (2015), and has co-edited Breathing with Luce Irigaray (2013) and Poesis of Peace: Narratives, Cultures and Philosophies (2017; forthcoming).